The battle now raging between the big technology companies for consumer cash is focused on Smart Speakers with integrated AI voice assistants. Having already conquered the pocket with the ubiquitous smartphone, big tech has been struggling to come up with the next must-have gadget that will open up a potentially lucrative new market - the home.
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The CBI is calling on the government to establish a joint commission tasked with examining the impact of AI on people and jobs across all sectors of the UK economy.
Based on research it conducted into the way that technology is changing the way we live and work, the CBI said recently that it had identified three technologies - AI, Blockchain and the Internet of Things - that are set to move from the fringes to the mainstream within the next five years.
However, it also found, that only a third of businesses currently have the skills and capabilities needed to adopt AI technologies, and that more needs to be done to help prepare those companies for the future.
Not only has the decision to leave the European Union not dented London’s start-up scene, it seems to have actually widened its lead as Europe’s leading fundraising destination.
AI is more than a trend in investment activity. Uniquely, AI is a sub-sector of technology which is set for a development surge as technologies associated with AI advance and the reliance on AI products for businesses across all sectors to stay competitive grows.
This is already happening according to Forbes. A Narrative Science survey found last year that 38% of enterprises are already using AI, growing to 62% by 2018. Forrester Research predicted a greater than 300% increase in investment in artificial intelligence in 2017 compared with 2016. IDC estimated that the AI market will grow from $8 billion in 2016 to more than $47 billion in 2020.
Fintech companies - businesses that harness technological advances to challenge the existing financial system and the way things have traditionally been done - appear to be riding the post-Brexit storm with genuine confidence.
To the fore of this mini revolution are companies developing apps for stock market trading, websites that will help create entirely new currencies, and revolutionary new payment technology. All these ideas will change the way finance works.
According to the Tech Nation 2016 report, the Reading and Bracknell tech cluster is now the country’s largest cluster of digital businesses outside London. The area around these two towns is the home of digital businesses which contribute about £10bn in annual turnover to the British tech economy.
The EU referendum date has been announced and will take place on Thursday 23rd June. So, for the next four months the debate over whether the UK should remain in, or leave, the European Union will dominate.
A survey published this week shows that the majority of UK start-ups want us to stay in the EU.
It is paramount for startups to hire talented people who want to work hard to build something from the ground up. However, the costs of sourcing and hiring a Developer or Software Engineer in the UK, especially in London, can be high, so many founders end up outsourcing the work to remote contractors based offshore.
Startups can look to India, Spain, China or many remote locations to get a job done but that doesn’t replace an in-house team of permanent hires with a shared vision for the longer term.
The digital economy in the UK is thriving. The UK-wide nature of the industry was supported by the Tech Nation research report from Tech City UK - the agency originally created by the government to promote the east London tech cluster but which now promotes tech business growth UK-wide.
Using data from fast-rising digital businesses like Duedil and Adzuna, the Tech Nation 2015 report predicts that digital job growth will outperform all other occupation categories by 2020 - with digital employment itself set to grow by 5.4% by 2020.